By Leighton Schneider
Martin Brodeur is back in the NHL after signing with the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. He was brought into St. Louis last week on a professional tryout after their starter Brian Elliot was put on injured reserve. The only other goalie on the roster is rookie Jake Allen, who has played only 26 games in his career. The Blues are currently tied for first place with the Nashville Predators in the Central Division with 34 points.
Brodeur, the all-time win- ningest goaltender in NHL histo- ry, was released by the New Jersey Devils this summer after the team signed back-up Cory Schneider to a seven-year, $42 million con- tract extension, a move that even the most die-hard Devils fans accepted. Several teams had been interested in Brodeur during the summer and early stages of the season, but none had a spot on their roster until now.
Brodeur holds numerous NHL records for goalies includ- ing most wins (688), shutouts (124), games played (1,259) and goals scored by a goaltender. He needs just 12 wins to become the first goaltender to win 700 career games. He is also the only goalie to win 600 career games. There is no doubt in my mind that he will succeed in St. Louis. It may take a couple of times in goal to get the speed of the game back, but, once that happens, Brodeur will be able to win games for the Blues and help keep them in first place.
One thing that will be inter- esting to see is what will happen when Elliot returns from the IR. Will Brodeur be cut or traded, or will Allen be sent down to the American Hockey League, the minor league of the NHL? This will have contract implications for Brodeur, as he will earn a $125,000 bonus if he is on an NHL roster, any NHL roster, on Feb. 1. The Blues will have sever- al weeks before they have to make that decision.
As a hockey fan, I am excited at the possibility of watching Bro- deur play at least one more time. The Blues have three road games in the next four days, including on Long Island against the Islanders, and Brodeur is expected to play in at least one of those games. If you are a fan of hockey and Brodeur plays against the Islanders, you should try to go to the game. This could be the last time he comes to any of the three New York City-area teams this season if he stays with the Blues for the remainder of the season, and the game features a matchup between two of the top teams in the NHL.
Brodeur and the Blues are a perfect fit. He will get to play and he will be able to counsel Jake Al- len, which will benefit him in the long run. I hope he gets the 12 wins he needs to get to 700 and helps the Blues get to the play- offs.
Leighton Schneider is the Multimedia Editor for The Fordham Ram.